Showing posts with label Vegetarian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vegetarian. Show all posts

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Carrot and Ginger Soup - Made using the Optimum 9200 Power Blender

When reading the Optimum 9200 Next Generation Power Blender could make hot soup by friction heat alone (caused by the fast spinning blades) my thinking was it would be lukewarm at best.  As it turns out I was wrong. 

Running on high speed the blades rotate 44,000 rpm which creates friction heat and the Optimum 9200 will raise the contents of the jug by 4 degrees every 30 seconds.  In order to make hot soup it has to be running for approximately 5 to 6 minutes depending on the amount of vegetables in the jug.   

Can you see the steam coming from my soup?!

Check out my review of the Optimum 9200 Power Blender - it is a seriously amazing blender.

Print Recipe

To make 2-3 bowls of soup you will need:
4 large carrots - peeled and cut into chunks
1 drop of Holy Lama ginger extract spice drops
100ml of vegetable stock made from half of a Knorr stock cube dissolved in boiling water (you can use chicken stock if you're not vegetarian)
a small pinch of sea salt and black pepper to taste

How to do it:
Throw the peeled and chopped carrots along with just 1 drop of Holy Lama Ginger Extract Spice Drops into your Optimum 9200 Power Blender and blend on high for about 30 seconds - you will need to use the tamper tool just so they don't get stuck.  Now add about 50ml of the hot stock.  Remove the tamper tool and pop on the lid.  Leave to blend for 5 to 6 minutes. 
Check the consistency and add more of the stock if you think it needs it.  Your soup should be nice and hot and ready to serve.  Have a taste and adjust the seasoning.

Take a look at the Official Optimum Next Generation 9200 website (affiliate link) to see what else these power blenders can do.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Butternut Squash Chickpea and Spinach Curry

Looking at the ingredients list at first glance this may seem like a bit too much faffing about for your liking, but let me tell you the result is so worth it.
Panch Phoran is a bland of a few simple spices and doesn't require grinding - the spices are kept whole so it can be made very easily in just one minute.  Fantastic to keep in the store cupboard and will make a huge difference to any Indian style curry you make. You can see in a previous post of mine just how easy it is to make Panch Phoran - also known as Indian Five-spice.

The butternut adds lovely vibrant colour and a slightly sweet taste to this richly spiced curry.  Be assured that the word 'spiced' does not actually mean this is extra hot (as in spicy) this is just a lovely warming delicious and very tasty curry.  That said if you do want it hotter just add more chilli.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Quinoa with Roasted Butternut - Healthy Summer Eating

With all this lovely hot weather we're having at the moment (which I've no doubt will end very soon since I've mentioned it) it is most definitely BBQ weather.
As a change and feeling in a healthy eating kinda mood, I felt the need to cook quinoa.  Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is marvelous stuff and although a little on the weird looking side, it is actually rather nice to eat and is good for you too.  That said, of course it does need some love to make it nice as alone it can be a bit tasteless.  But if you add a glug of oil (ha-ha) and some roasted veg along with a dollop of sun-dried tomato paste and it turns into a lovely thing indeed.

Now I have to admit to adding a little crumbled feta after this picture was taken but since I'm trying to come across all healthy and that - just don't tell anyone!

 A Quick Word on Quinoa:
Quinoa is a complete protein unlike wheat or rice and contains all eight of the essential amino acids.  It has been recognised by the United Nations as a super crop for its health benefits: packed with dietary fibre, phosphorus, magnesium and iron.  It's also gluten-free and easy to digest which all goes to suggest it is as close the most perfect ingredient you can get.
Before cooking it looks like tiny beads - you need to rinse it well or it will taste bitter.  Then pop into a saucepan (please note 1 cup of uncooked quinoa will turn into about 3 cups when cooked) so allow a big enough saucepan or you will have trouble!
Cover with plenty of water and bring to the boil then turn down to simmer and cook covered with a lid for about 20 minutes or until it looks transparent. 

Monday, 19 May 2014

Mediterranean Vegetable Moussaka - National Vegetarian Week

As we all know the popular Greek dish moussaka traditionally uses lamb, but as it's the start of National Vegetarian week (19th May to 25th) I thought I'd give moussaka a go using just vegetables.  Let me tell you it was truly delicious and every bit as tasty.
To make slicing, peeling, chopping and measuring easier OXO Good Grips kindly sent me a lovely range of tools for the job.

First up this rather useful hand-held mandolin slicer enabled slicing potatoes into even slices a doddle. 

An aubergine was sliced and ready to cook in next to no time:

 The hand-head mandolin is easily adjusted by a simple slider on the side so you have a choice of three different thicknesses from approx 1mm to 5mm.  One thing I will say is personally I would have liked the slicer to have one more thicker setting than the max it has of about 5mm.  After use the blade is set to the lock position making it safe to store with the guard in place.

Next up, the Herb Mincer - a fantastic little gadget.  The top opens up to allow easy cleaning and it can go into the dishwasher if you wish.  Safe to use since your fingers aren't near the blade when using.  It chops herbs in seconds just by rolling back and forth and comes with a blade guard for safety when storing. 

 Scrubbing vegetables is once again made easy with this comfortable to hold Vegetable Brush - I didn't need to scrub my potatoes as I was about to peel them for this recipe.

 The OXO Good Grips Y-Peeler is the very fellow for this - nice thin slices means there's no wasted veg:

  How many times have you gone to measure out a teaspoons of spice from a jar to find your measuring spoon will not fit the jar?   These slim measuring spoons are brilliant and the teaspoon easily fits into these slim spice jars that many of us I'm sure have in our cupboards.

All in all each of these products are of good quality as always from OXO Good Grips and you can find out more over at the OXO Good Grips website.  All products shown above are dishwasher safe.

  Now with my recipe!

Monday, 7 April 2014

Chopped Salad with Mixed Beans and Lemon Dressing

Chopped salad will add a healthy and colourful side to many dishes and is great for serving alongside BBQ food or any other outdoor eating event.  Or, how about serving with a simple jacket potato?  A chopped salad will provide an easy stress free lunch. 
Of course you can add whatever you want to your salad - sweetcorn, celery, radishes, cooked and diced new potatoes and even leftover cooked chicken.  Just add what you want and leave out what you don't!

Also chopped salads are a great way to (perhaps) get the kids to eat mixed beans and other bits and bobs they might otherwise not want. 
A dressing of some sort is nice but of course it's up to you.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Rachel's Organic Greek Style Lemon Yogurt - Review

 If you haven't discovered these already, let me share with you - Rachel’s latest addition to the Greek Style range of Organic Bio-Live Yogurts.  
The new Lemon flavour is in our opinion, totally and utterly delicious.  Having been sent 6 large tubs to try I have to tell you they've gone - yes we seem to have eaten them all. 
Seriously creamy, smooth and very lemony with just the right amount of sweetness.

Is it wrong that I ate a whole tub to myself?!
Rachel's organic range contains the yogurt cultures Lactobacillus acidophilus & Bifidobacterium.
They are suitable for vegetarians too.
Typical values Per 100g
Energy 582kJ/139kcal
Fat 7.5g
of which saturates 4.7g
Carbohydrate 14.8g
of which sugars 14.3g
Protein 3.1g
Salt 0.1g

  I was pleased to see the whole of the packaging is suitable for recycling which is great stuff.  
Available now from Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Ocado priced at RRP £1.99 for a 450g pot.

Many thanks to Rachel's for sending me some to try.  
Disclaimer:  All thoughts and opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Family and Friends Mexican-themed Fun Night In

For a quick and easy meal, tacos or tortillas make a great dinner the whole family will enjoy.  But how about holding a Mexican-themed dinner party for family and friends?
Mexican food is vibrant, colourful and tasty and can mostly be prepared in advance.  There's no need for any fancy cooking equipment or amazing cooking skills, making it the ideal choice for a fun night in. 
Meat, Chicken or Vegetarian?
Minced beef, thinly sliced beef and chicken are all good choices.  For vegetarians or for anyone wanting to try to eat less meat, Old el Paso have a seriously great recipe for spicy bean and cheese vegetarian burger tacos – now how good do they sound?!   All you need is their Stand and Stuff Dinner kit which includes the spice mix.  To make the burgers you just need cheese, breadcrumbs, kidney beans and pinto beans, red and green bell pepper, an egg and some freshly chopped coriander.  Shredded lettuce is good for serving and the whole meal can be made in 20 minutes.

Another idea - Quesadillas:
Not only do they look good but they take minutes to make.
First prepare your ingredients, chopping and slicing. Pop a soft corn or flour tortilla into a really hot frying pan and top with your choice of filling.  Add another tortilla on top like a sandwich, turn to cook the other side and serve.

Tortillas, Tacos or Wraps?
A hard decision to make, purely because there are so many choices available in the supermarket these days!  Do you fancy crispy crunchy tortillas, flour tortillas, wholewheat tortillas or a lovely soft floury wrap?  Fajitas are great and of course you can make them really mild for anyone that’s not too keen on spice and kids love them.

Once you’ve made a choice, you can fill your tacos, tortillas or wraps with meat and vegetables or just veg. 

Salads and other bits and bobs:
Sliced bell peppers in any colour you fancy, onions, shredded lettuce, chopped tomato and in my opinion, grated cheese as far as I'm concerned is a must!
 Dips, salsas, sour cream and guacamole can be bought from the shop ready prepared.

Tequila sunrise is great since it’s so colourful and of course you can make a non-alcoholic version for the kids using pineapple.  Or what about Mojito which always goes down well. 

Whatever you decide to serve, enjoy your relaxed night in!  

Sunday, 1 September 2013

The French Market Cookbook - Review

The French Market Cookbook - Vegetarian Recipes from a Parisian Kitchen by Clotilde Dusoulier, creator of the award-winning food blog Chocolate and   
Image taken from the book purely for the purpose of this review.

Although Clotilde isn't a vegetarian she has chosen to eat less meat and fish and is always looking for new ways to cook.
  Each of the 90 recipes in this book take us through the seasons showcasing what's best on the market and in season at the time.

Image taken from the book purely for the purpose of this review. 

The Recipes:
I love that the recipes aren't all about pasta and cheese as I find with so many vegetarian recipes.  
Brilliant photography throughout with a wide range of appetizers, soups, savoury tarts, salads, main courses, sides, pastas through to sauces and dressings, desserts and cookies and cakes.

Just a couple of my many 'Must Makes' from the book!
 The Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed with Plums and Hazelnuts have to happen in my kitchen soon since they look delicious!  And I'm loving the pretty look of the Zucchini and Apricot Socca Tart.  Socca is a thin crepe made with chickpea flour then to use as a tart base the batter is made with less water then baked until set before finishing off under the grill.
Oh and then there's Melon and Ginger Soup - now this also has to be made as it sounds amazing!

 Image taken from the book purely for the purpose of this review. 

All in all:
Nothing looks too tricky to make and although Clotilde lives in France, looking through the book the ingredients seem to be readily available at any good market or supermarket.  
Personally I would recommend this book to anyone, vegetarian or not, since it's packed full of some truly mouthwatering and inspiring dishes that will capture any food lovers interest.

More About:
The French Market Cookbook is written by Clotilde Dusoulier and published by Random House Intl Potter.

  Many thanks to Mat at PGUK Publishers Group for sending me a copy to review.
All opinions and thoughts are my own.  I was not required to write a positive review.  I only ever post reviews on products I like the look of, and therefore would buy myself.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Spicy Stuffed and Roasted Butternut Squash

This is so easy there really isn't any need for a recipe.  Sweet soft butternut with a nice spicy heat from the harissa paste - that alone is delicious, but add tomatoes and the salty tang of feta and you're in for a treat. 

 If you're cooking this for vegetarian's just make sure the feta is suitable.  The brand 'Yamas' is vegetarian.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Quick Easy and Healthy - Stir-fry is the Way to Go

 The Stellar 3000 Stir-fry/Wok:
Having been sent this (oh so very good-looking) wok from the Stellar cookware 3000 range to review, I got quite excited and had to make a stir-fry straight away.  I can't tell you how much I love this wok - available in lovely Ruby Red, Cream, or Black.
For me, shiny Ruby Red it had to be!

Everyone loves a stir-fry, they are so very easy to do and anyone can make one with just a few simple ingredients.
If you look in any good supermarket you'll find a huge range of ready chopped vegetables, with or without onion, with or without peppers, the list is endless.  They'll also have 'ready to wok' noodles and more stir-fry sauces to choose from than you can shake a stick at!
 Why is Stir-frying Healthy?
For a successful and healthy stir-fry you will need a good non-stick stir-fry pan or wok and then you'll find that you hardly need to use any oil.  Just a dab of oil wiped round the pan with a piece of kitchen paper and you're good to go.
The food will cook fast and vegetables will stay crisp and full of vitamins.
Of course, the only thing you need to pay attention to is the sauce you add to them since some will have high sugar levels.

 So, why am I loving the Stellar 3000 Wok so much?
 Well, it's non-stick, 28cm so it's a good size and it has two handles.
As it's manufactured from aluminium it is quick to heat up, which keeps vegetables nice and crisp.
The comfy-grip handles stay cool in use and the best bit, this wok can go into the oven too.  Oven-safe up to 180c makes it so versatile.
Stellar 3000 pans have Teflon Platinum Plus, a triple layer non stick coating with a raised textured base which means healthier cooking as you hardly need any oil.  As I've already said, just a dab of oil and a quick wipe round with a piece of kitchen paper does the job nicely.
Suitable for all hob types including induction.
Our favorite stir-fry is Chinese Vegetables in Brown Sauce
   For more information on Stellar products pop over to Stellar Cookware

Thank you to Pam and Stellar for sending me this to review.
All opinions and thoughts are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.  I only ever post reviews on products I like the look of, and therefore would buy myself.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Tabbouleh without Mint

Bulgur wheat is a good source of fibre which can help maintain a healthy digestive system.  A great alternative to rice and is used to make tabbouleh which is a lovely side dish for many things especially salmon.  
The even better news is it is so very easy to make too.... 
   Mint is usually a key ingredient in tabbouleh but I can't say I'm a fan unless it's chocolate chip and mint ice cream of course!  So since I don't like it I didn't put any in my tabbouleh but of course you can add as much or as little as you fancy - just use the leaves only, chop and stir in.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Southern Indian Vegetable Curry

On the back of a pack of curry leaves purchased from one of the UK's top supermarkets was this recipe 'Southern Indian Vegetable Curry with Curry Leaves'.  Quite liking the sound of it I gave it a go.

 However, it pays to know a tiny bit about cooking when following some of these 'back of packet' recipes as I find most are not very well written and they hardly ever work.
  This was no exception, just reading the recipe I decided that there was no way that raw cubed potatoes added to a curry would cook in under 15 minutes.  In reality they took a good hour or so!
No problem at least I was ready for this.
The original recipe didn't have anywhere near enough liquid or spices so I titivated it and the end result was actually very nice.
Since cooking this I've discovered Jamie Oliver has the same recipe in one of his books 'Jamie's Dinners' but at least he doesn't say how long it will take for the potatoes to cook - he just says cook until the potatoes are soft.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Gran Stead's Ginger Wine - Review

Non-alcoholic ginger wine, great for BBQ's and party's!  Prepared by the Knox family at Mile Oak farm in Sussex, England.

Both bottles contain no artificial preservatives.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Roasted Fennel and Baby Tomatoes with Parmesan

Totally delicious and really simple to make.  Fennel becomes something truly special when it's roasted and topped with a good handful of Parmesan.  Add a few baby tomatoes into the roasting dish and you're in for a treat!
  Everyone seems to think that fennel goes with fish and that's it. 
Not true - roasted fennel goes well with loads of different foods including pan-fried chicken for one.  
That said fennel is either something you love or hate - a bit like Marmite! 
It can be eaten raw (slice very thinly and use in salads).  Fennel is quite anisseedy in taste, although once coked the flavour becomes more mellow.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

New - Sweetcorn Bites from Barfoots

Oooh we love sweetcorn and was pleased to receive Sweetcorn Bites New from Barfoots to try.
Each bag contains 8 little bites of corn which are just perfect for children and so good for them too.  I really wish I had a child to feed them to as I just know kids would love them.  They can of course, be eaten straight from the bag as a snack without any cooking involved. 
The Verdict:
They really are the ultimate in convenience food - just snip open the top of the packet, add 1 tablespoon of water and pop into the microwave for 4 minutes on high and you have perfectly cooked corn.
Far better than tinned sweetcorn and with the summer on its way (hopefully) they will be just great wrapped in foil with a good pinch of black pepper a tiny pinch of salt and a knob of butter then cooked on the BBQ!
They were nice and sweet and a lovely golden colour.  Mine were unfortunately a bit/lot squashed on delivery hence there are no actual pictures from me.  A bit of a shame but they still tasted good!
Since it isn't quite BBQ weather just yet - here's how I cooked them:
I sprinkled the corn bites with finely chopped red chilli pepper and a pinch of chilli powder, then microwaved them in the bag with a tablespoon of water and they were perfectly cooked in 4 minutes.  When they were done I added a nice fat knob of butter and that was that!   
 Made on a working farm in Sussex, Sweetcorn Bites are the perfect healthy snack.   They are completely natural and with nothing artificial added, they’re a brilliant source of nutrition, containing carotenoids, vitamins A, B3 and C, plus Folic Acid, fibre, carbohydrates, sugars and protein for energy.

Available from Ocado and selected stores at Tesco, Waitrose and Co-op
  Sweetcorn Bites have a FaceBook page too!

 Thank you to Kelly and Barfoots of Botley for sending us some to try.  
FRESH is Certainly Best!

Friday, 24 February 2012

Garlic and Blue Cheese Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

There's no real recipe for these as they are so very simple to make.  Lovely portobello mushrooms stuffed with garlic, red chilli for a little heat and blue cheese.  All topped with crispy panko breadcrumbs - yum!
I used Dolcelatte - an Italian soft blue veined cheese as it melts so easily. 

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Foil Baked Salmon and King Prawns with Chilli and Lime Butter

Another of my 'make it up as I go along' easy to cook salmon recipes.  Just bake the salmon in a foil parcel.  Add a few King Prawns and some other bits and bobs with lime zest and a squeeze of the juice along with a knob of butter.  Done and ready to eat in 20 minutes! 
Now that can't be bad can it?! 

Friday, 27 January 2012

Vegetables in Chinese Brown Sauce - Just like the Takeaway!

Baby Pak choi, Bean-sprouts, Shiitaki mushrooms, Carrots and Spring onion cooked in a tasty Chinese style sauce.  After much experimenting, I think I've finally cracked the recipe!  This sauce tastes just like the sauce in the dish called 'Happy Families' you get from a Chinese takeaway. 

'Happy Families' is a dish that usually has a bit of everything in it, so there's something for everyone to like keeping the whole family happy! 
So very simple to make and I'm thinking this has to be healthy and I can't see where the calories in this dish would be.   I suggest you serve with some nice egg fried rice to add a few calories to your meal!

Monday, 9 January 2012

Vegetarian Stew with Potatoes Parsnip Swede and Chestnuts

 A really tasty stew of potatoes, swede, parsnip, carrots and onions cooked in a lovely rich Marsala sauce.  The addition of some fantastic smelling juniper berries really make this dish.  Roasted chestnuts are then added along with some mushrooms.  A perfect warming and filling vegetarian meal. 
Crusty bread is vital for dipping and mopping.
This is my titivated version of Nigel Slater's 'Hearty Party Hotpot' from his television series Simple Suppers.
Now, I used chicken stock, but of course vegetable stock is the way to go for any vegetarians out there.  I added potatoes to my version just to make it more of a meal.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Cauliflower and Tomato Cheese with Cayenne Pepper Crispy Crumb Topping

The other day I happened to have half a tin of tinned tomatoes (left over from something or other) and when I popped into Asda I saw cauliflowers were a major bargain at 50 pence!
 So, cauliflower and tomato cheese came to mind as I got to use up the tinned tomatoes too - yes I'm economising!  
Another thing, I had a few slices of bread left, fit only for breadcrumbs or the bin........Cayenne pepper toasted crumb topping just had to happen!